weight loss

The Weight-Loss That Would Have Been….

I don’t have all of the answers, and I don’t pretend to.  I’ve spent the last few years of my life trying to understand my body and to make sense of my desire to sometimes (which used to be all the time) unhealthy amounts of food.  And while I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’m still trying to figure some things out.

And last week during my behavioral psych class in which we were discussing hormones and stress, I realized that some of my actions (one in particular) hurts me much more than it helps me.

If you read my blog or if we’re connected through Facebook or follow me on twitter then you probably know that I weigh-in on Thursday evenings.  You may have also noticed that my food intake changes drastically on Thursdays before weigh-in (stupid, I know…)  I tend to eat the same thing every single Thursday before weighing in, and I definitely do not eat enough.

For the record, I also wear the same outfit every week.  (Yes, I’m that person.)  During the first year of my weight-loss, I wore the same dress every week (even on cold, snowy days in NY.)  I wore the dress until it was 10 sizes too big, and I’ll my current weigh-in dress until it’s 10 sizes too big too.  It’s just what I do.  I don’t do it out of superstition.  I do it because it’s hard weighing in at 6pm every week.  Our bodies change so much throughout the day, everyday, that I do everything I can to control the variables that I can control before stepping on the scale which brings me to my next point…

Actually first, let’s talk about what I’ve been eating before 6pm over the last 6 weeks or so.  On a typical day by 6pm I have eaten a green smoothie with whey protein powder or Greek yogurt, spinach/kale, banana and strawberries and milk…I may have also eaten an egg with two egg whites for breakfast with a little patties of turkey sausage wrapped in a carb smart tortilla and a pear with a separate salad of leafy greens (3-5 cups) and cucumber and tomato sprinkled with garlic pepper.  And I’ve had at least half a gallon (8 glasses) of water…usually more.

On a typical Thursday by 6pm all I’ve eaten is 3 cups of leafy greens, a banana and another piece of fruit like an apple or a pear.  (Yes, that’s all, and like I said, I know it’s ridiculous.)  And after years of this habit of eating too little on Thursdays, it’s hard to change.  It’s hard to accept that if I eat more this Thursday than I usually do on a Thursday, this week’s weigh-in won’t reflect the effort I put in all week.  And I’ve put in effort again this week.

But after sitting in class last week, as we discussed the long-term effects of our eating habits, cortisol, endorphines, etc. I realized that I’ve been doing myself more harm than good on every weigh-in day since day 1.

And look, I’m not dumb.  I know it’s not smart to starve myself all day because I’d rather see a number I like on the scale.  I also know it will even out after next week.  And I  know that my history proves that when I’m doing what I know I should be doing, I lose weight.  And I realize that if I’m not starving by the time I weigh in, I am less likely to overeat later.  I’m also more likely to stop at the gym on my way home because I can wait to eat until after my workout.

So before my next weigh-in, I will change my routine. I will eat as I normally would before my weigh-in and drink water as I normally would as well because that’s what is better for my body long-term even if I have to take a hit on the scale.

It’s so obvious as I write this out that the numbers mean too much to me (even though I do believe they should matter.)  They play games with my head that I didn’t even realize they played, and it’s hard to change.   But I’ve done a lot of things lately that seemed hard before I did them, and the rewards have been great.  So at my next weigh-in I’ll take the hit.  I’ll do something that isn’t easy because it’s better for me in the long run, and I’ll be proud of myself for finally doing it.

In the title of one of my posts last week,  I said that I believe that I can do anything, and I do.  But sometimes, in order to accomplish things that we’ve never accomplished, we have to change the way we do things.  And as soon as I thoughtfully considered it, I knew that I’d rather see my numbers go up artificially than to starve myself which is really just makes reaching my goal harder.

People sometimes say that weight-loss is simple, and they’re wrong.  If it were so easy, we wouldn’t struggle to do it.  It’s hard (harder sometimes than others…) but I’m doing it.  And I’m not fighting myself anymore.  Instead, I’m going to respect my body and be thankful that I’m still a work in progress.

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Nina
    February 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

    This makes total sense to me …

    When I am good to myself the scale starts moving in the right direction – even though it is slow and steady. When I am hard on myself it either doesn’t move or I lose ground! I am up 8 lbs right now. It sucks and I hate it.

    I’ve had a lot of stress lately … and things are finally getting better … but instead of being happy and eating better, I am binging! (Argh!) I have not done it in a long time and it’s not extreme … it’s more like instead of having a “healthy” dinner … my husband and I are hitting Texas Road House hard.

    I feel sick and gross.

    Anyway … I guess the deal is I need to hit the breaks. It’s a lot easier to recover 8 lbs, rather than 80! My little defeated voice is coming through lately and I want it to shut-up.

    This journey is a bitch.

    Glad you are seeing the big picture and things are clicking … I need more of that lately!!!!

    XOXO,
    Nina

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      February 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I made plans to go to Texas Roadhouse yesterday, and they were cancelled at the last minute! And as soon as we decided against it I was relieved that I wouldn’t be over-indulging in bread…ha

      Things click sometimes, and sometimes not so much…We just have to keep trying…..and pushing through..

  • Reply
    Kris
    February 15, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I’m so glad you recognize what you need to do. Even now, I have too much tied to the scale number, instead of how I feel. I weigh myself in the morning, every morning. If I eat first, I skip my weigh in.

    As for weight loss being easy – IT IS NOT. But deciding to join the fight is half the battle.

    You can do it, Kenz!

  • Reply
    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming
    February 15, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I have a routine every day because I weigh-in almost every day. It’s always in the morning after I pee and wearing nothing but my underwear. I won’t weigh-in any other way.

    It’s good to evaluate yourself and adjust though 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet
    February 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I am exactely the same and until I read your post, I actually didn’t think much of it. Every Friday I am having less calories than I actually should. Everysince I started, I have tried to do it on my own – the less calories the better – that was my idea but recently I have come to the realization that I need to know more about my body and food in order to get better results and stop plateau-hopping. I have only just started changing my diet to more protein and complex carbs and so far I didn’t realize, that I would also have to change my Friday attitude. Thanks Kenz for making me realize. Keep it up!!

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not
    February 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Losing weight is definitely not easy! I was doing the same thing for a while. I weigh-in Wednesday mornings and I was drastically cutting my calories on Tuesday and would get so hungry at night it would be hard to sleep! Then I was eat like crazy on Wednesday after the weigh-in and struggle to get back on track. I felt like I was always trying to “catch-up” to an artificially low number. Good for you for recognizing and doing something about it! I will be better in the long run.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    February 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Oh My Gosh!! this was my life yesterday! I weigh in every Tuesday night, and first of all, weighing in at night is just plain harder than in the morning. So I have always done the exact same thing, I wear the same outfit, eat the exact same breakfast and lunch, but recently I have noticed that I have been restricting my food much more on Tuesdays. You are right, I am not doing myself any favors.
    Well last night was Valentines and my sweet husband drove me to my weigh in and the plan was to go out on our V day date after, so of course I had to wear something different, and guess what…..I was up, not a lot .4 but still!
    But I was wearing flare leg jeans instead of leggings, I mean come on, seriously!
    I had this entire conversation with my husband about “the big picture” and just like you said, the numbers DO count, but I don’t want to loose sight of the real target for some temporary satisfaction.
    Thank you for the reminder 🙂
    Great post! I can’t believe how well timed it was for me.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    KCLAnderson (Karen)
    February 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    What an amazing insight! And it’s so true…the things we do to ourselves that cause stress and work against the very thing we’re working toward! Another way to help ease that stress and the resultant cortisol release is to use language that helps us feel less stressed. For example, instead of saying, “weight loss is a struggle” or “losing weight is hard,” reframe it like this (for example): “my body releases excess weight easily and naturally.” And I know that you know that…the last two sentences of your post say it all!

    • Reply
      Tabby
      February 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you for this affirmation suggestion. I have added “gently” and stuck it to my computer monitor, where I will see it daily.

  • Reply
    Princess Dieter
    February 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    It is hard. It may be SIMPLE (fewer calories, more exercise, better food choices), but a simple idea may be very difficult to execute. A rocket to the moon is simple in it’s idea (propulsion to take it 1/4 of a million miles and back), but the execution took years and mad-good scientists and lots of moolah and energy.

    Dieting is simple, but it takes lots of moolah (better food can be expensive, organic foods, qualilty protein, a trainer, a gym membership, time for exercise and cooking rather than fast food and the couch), it takes time, it takes energy, it takes focus, it takes commitment, it takes support.

    Simple don’t mean easy.

    Don’t I know it!

    And I have a simple rule in restaurants: I tell the waiter never to bring bread/butter or chips/dips or whatever their free carby starters are to the table. Point blank. “We don’t eat that.” That takes care of that issue. 😀

    Oh, as far as weigh-ins: I did WW for a few spells and I can’t handle weighing in any time but after waking up, evacuated, naked. And since I can’t do that at a meeting, I don’t do it. If I did want the WW support again, I’d simply do my baseline weigh-ins (every morning after pooping/peeing and naked before I drink or eat anything) and then don’t worry about theirs. If one loses consistently, it will show at the meetings. And the REAL baseline is what you get at home….may wanna try that. One for you, one for the WW tracker.

    Happy hump day! Let’s be good to ourselves…

  • Reply
    Tim
    February 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I kinda agree but also disagree. I personally think weightloss can be easier than we think. Based on my own experience, I know how it works and what I should do but I think i’ve made it a lot more difficult for myself because i’ve made the wrong decisions when deep down I know I could have made better decisions.

    Ideally I should eat healthier, sleep more, stay hydrated and be active because they are all simple things to follow but most of the time I choose not to do so (for whatever reason) and that then causes my weightloss journey to become a lot more harder.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    February 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Wow Kenlie that was like reading a page out of my own head. I remember back when I did WW… I did the EXACT same thing. My weigh ins were even on the same night! I did it even worse though… I would pretty much starve myself all day so I could see a loss at the meeting, only to DRIVE TO MCDONALDS AND BINGE that same night. I used the reasoning that I had a week to get any weight I might have added that night back off. Then the next morning I’d be remorseful and starving and back on track… until the next Thursday. What a head game losing weight is hey?

    Congratulations to you for seeing your destructive behaviours and having the strength and will to end them!

  • Reply
    Bella
    February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    When I was going to WW mtgs I was that girl, too. I’d wear the exact same outfit and eat the same thing. Actually, I would make sure to go to the first meeting I could on a weekend and I wouldn’t have eaten anything before I weighed in. It was crazy. Eventually I realized that daily weigh-ins were better for me because I didn’t focus on one “day,” but looked for patterns.

    So maybe that’s something else you can do? Weigh yourself in the morning on Thursdays before you eat and then use the weight at the meeting as more of a guide. Because it seems like you go to the WW meetings for a lot more than just the weigh ins, so you might as well put the focus on that.

    I know you can do it. Your willingness to change is proof of that!

  • Reply
    Deb
    February 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Recognizing the problem is the first step to rectifying it. Good for you in knowing what you need to do, and how to go about doing it. I do disagree on one thing- losing weight, technically, is simple. BUT! It is NOT easy! We all know that all too well.

    Just remember- even if the scale seems to be up at this weigh in because you ate normally, next week it won’t seem so bad because you’ll be in the same place as far as your day and eating. The shock will only be there once.

  • Reply
    Ima Bovine
    February 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Your post made me smile, for 2 reasons:
    1. I weigh-in in the morning – a 9am meeting so eating is not the issue but I wear the same work-out capris and super lite cotton t-shirt every time, no matter the weather. It may seem silly but it does make sense, sorta, doesn’t it? At least we know our weight loss/gain is not related to the clothes we are wearing.
    2. Yesterday I posted about how even when I have the flu, which I am currently recovering from, I am still obsessed with my weight. – http://myinnerbovine.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/even-with-the-flu-seriously/ – it’s ridiculous. Those numbers on the scale mean way more than they should!
    You are so on the right track Kenlie (still my favorite name EVER) – and I hope I can learn from you!
    MOOOOOOOO 😉

  • Reply
    Deborah (Schmiet)
    February 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Kenlie

    I used to do the same thing when I had to formally weigh in somewhere. I’d also barely drink… whereas usually I drink a lot of water. It’s a bit like TBL and ‘last chance training’ where they minimise their fluid intake and try to sweat a lot (like jockeys trying to lose fluid for a weigh-in before a race!).

    Like you, I’m WAY too obsessed with the numbers on the scales and give them far too much control over me and my life. Sadly, though I recognise that I’m struggling to do something about it!

  • Reply
    Tabby
    February 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t do WW and I’m not on any particular diet plan – just lifestyle changes of my own devising, but I also don’t weigh in as regularly as you all do. Otherwise I’d be a slave to the scale (and I have been, in the past). I weigh in at the doctor’s office 4 times a year, occasionally more frequently if I feel I might have made a bigger difference. It’s easier and gives me to ability to deal with feeling how my body feels, how clothes fit, etc. The doctor’s scale is calibrated so I know it’s pretty accurate, though muscle weighs more than fat, so it’s not 100%. Plus I don’t consider myself on a diet, just on a long haul health journey. I’m glad you are going to start taking better care of yourself. Putting your body into that starvation mode just causes you to go into “fight or flight” mode and the body starts storing fat, which is the reverse of your intentions!

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